Ghostbusters The Video Game Review
After seeing the hit 1984 film, what kid hasn't wanted to bust ghosts for a living, or wield the formidable proton pack against the supernatural? Come on, be honest! We know for a fact that back in the mid 1980's we wanted to ride the Ecto-1, suit up in our white jumpsuits and bust some ghosts back to the afterlife. After more than two decades, our wishes have finally come true in video game form. This is our exclusive Ghostbusters: The Video Game review.
The year is now 1991, and players find themselves picking up the story a few years after the events of the second movie. You will play as a new recruit who is named "rookie" and basically your role is to test out all the new gadgets that may or may not explode or implode on you. Sounds like a lot of fun right? Well, indeed it is. You are quickly welcomed back to the world of Dr. Peter Venkman and the city of New York, which is once again under siege by forces of the paranormal.
It wasn't long before our nostalgia meters were picking up readings that were off the charts. The original cast members from the feature films are (mostly) all here to back you up. Even Slimer is on hand to give you a nice funky welcome.
The Game was directed with input by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis, which gives you an idea of how faithful the tone of the game is to the original films. They also brought in Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, William Artherton -- and new to the series, Alyssa Milano who plays the love interest of Peter Venkman and is the cause of the new ghost activity. Overall the story is fantastic and ties in nicely with the humorous nature of the classic movies.
The first secret to being a Ghostbuster is to know your equipment. Actually, the very first thing is to try out the fire house pole in the headquarters -- trust us, you will love it. Your debut mission kicks off when Slimer escapes his personal containment unit. Of course you being the "FNG" (Freaking New Guy) you have to strap on the newly design proton pack, which comes equipped with a nice venting feature when you overheat. Now the whole snagging, trap 'em, and bag 'em scenario will come in to play with this tutorial. With the newly added features to your proton unit you not only trap them, you also have to snare them which will hold them down once you have them weakened. Now, to weaken the ghosts just blast them a few times then ensnare them with your beam and you will then be given the option to rock them or slam them on objects to weaken them faster. However, make sure to watch your proton meter because you will lose your stream if you do not vent your pack!
Your damage meter will also show on your proton pack in the form of three green blinking lights, so keep that in mind when you need to regenerate your health. If you do fall down or if any of your teammates fall down, they will come to the rescue and revive you. So far the A.I. and especially the commentary from all the actors is well done and not repetitive. Once the ghost is at the catatonic stage, throw down your trap and lead them into the beam. The only problem is keeping them ensnared inside the beam long enough for the trap to consume them and here is wear your roping technique comes in handy with the right analog stick. Keeping them steady inside the lighted area will earn you the victory you need and of course the money earned with every ghost caught.
Let's take a moment to discuss the money feature in Ghostbusters. You can use all the money you earned while fighting ghosts to upgrade your equipment and combat skills. Having the steady stream and upgraded trap options will help a lot during the long battles against evil specters. Which brings me to other equipment: for example, your PKE (Psycho Kinetic Energy) meter which detects ghost and collectibles that are haunted. When hunting the ghost you will need to pull out the PKE which puts you into a first person mode having a goggle scanner on your face. Each time you scan a ghost or haunted object, you get the facts on said object and it is added into your collection, which turns into money. Basically, this encourages players to go on a ghost/cursed artifact mission while on the job. You can also lose money by causing a lot of damage in the game during missions. Some obstacles will force you to cause damage by either moving the object with your proton beam or just blasting it to pieces. The cost and damages will show on your left hand top corner of the screen. However, we also had fun watching a friend burn his name into the wall, causing a lot of damage and racking up bills.
The locations of New York City are well detailed - especially if some of you remembered how times squared looked back in 1991 and before the State Puffed Marshmallow Man invaded. Visiting the Sedgwick hotel from the first encounter with Slimer was a nice touch, however they didn't have the original actor that played the owner of the hotel which is disappointing. I know what you all are interested in knowing more about, and that is multiplayer options. Sadly there is no split screen or online campaign co-op. Yes, I know that many will be deeply disappointed by that factor. Do not be too discouraged because there is multiplayer -- just not story based multiplayer. You will be playing a time trial in which you will team up with any of the four characters and see who can catch the most ghosts or beat the bosses before time runs out. It is a challenge-based multiplayer that looks like fun. However, I would have loved to play the campaign story with four other players.
The negative side of Ghostbusters is of course no campaign co-op. Honestly, that was a bad move even if we are using a fifth Ghostbusters character that only means five player co-op which should have been easily done. The controls could use a bit of fine tuning, as well and a dodge roll button. It also would have been great to have a crouch button for those ghosts that like to do fly bys or slime-bys which knocks you on your butt. Not being able to drive the Ecto-1 was similarly very harsh and a big tease since many of us would have loved to take that vehicle out for a spin.
Genre: Action Comedy Horror
Developer: Terminal Reality
Players#: 1 offline 1-4 online
Rating: Rated T for Teen
Pros: It is the Ghostbusters and You get a Proton Pack what more do you want?
Cons: No Online Campaign Co-op, Can't Drive the Ecto 1, controls are a chore.
Xboxist Rating: 4 out of 5
Review by Naquan Baity
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